Dear Sister...

This is perhaps the first time I'm writing to you, ever. Isn't that strange? We do talk though.. don't we? All the time. On the phone, through Whatsapp, through mails, on FB.... thoughts, opinions, jokes, gossip and pictures oh the pictures.. from home, from the roadside, from markets and shops and trial rooms... back and forth .. the communication is constant.

Letters however are a different thing. They give you space to think and express and talk about things you might never have told each other.

Let me start at the beginning. It certainly wasn't love at first sight. There you were, comfortably sleeping in MY favourite place, snuggling up to my favourite person. That's MY mum, I'd shouted! claiming what was rightfully mine, had been mine for three whole years  - ALL mine. But then probably you'd opened your eyes and given me one of those smiles.. Toothless, guileless, lazy and laid back and I was sold - just like everyone else. Then on we shared everything.. clothes, books, school, college, crushes, friends and foes.

I have often felt God intended us to be twins.. We were meant to be born together only you had lingered... perhaps involved in some exciting adventure, while I made an early appearance. However once here you never truly believed or behaved like the younger sibling matching punch for punch and braid pull for braid pull.

Yeah you call me didi but that's such a token thing.. Like Manmohan Singh's prime ministership!

We were equal partners in crime, plotting and planning against the common 'enemy' mum! Remember how we spilt the entire bottle of cream and hid it away, or the times we sneaked off the school bus to our favourite bookshop, or when we managed to unlock the TV (yeah TVs had locks back then) and watch that forbidden film? I still get goosebumps but you never had any reservations, cool as the proverbial cucumber.

Despite your bravado, to me you always were the little one.. The baby sister I'd carry around proudly on my back. The little one who'd fainted on me when we'd gone to visit a sick friend giving me a near heart-attack. The sister I once forgot to pick up at school and then went back and searched and searched my heart filling up with an awful dread only to reach home and find you happily perched at the dining table. Oh you could take care of yourself even then.

We are the perfect foil to each other. My patience to your impetuousness, my Capricornian discretion to your Scorpio bluntness, my conformity to your irreverence, my look-before-you-leap to your if-you-hesitate-you're-lost... so different yet so similar.

When I became a mum.. you turned the best masi ever... cool and fun. Whether it's taking the kids for a walk in the rain (something I'll never do), teaching N to whistle (something I cannot do) or trading drawings of aliens with H... you're the best. If ever there comes a time when the kids have a disagreement with me I know they will confide in you. And I know you will guide them with level headed wisdom, sanely yet without the encumbrances of being a mum. And secure in that knowledge I blithely wield the strict mum baton.

You've taught me so many things....
To have fun without over thinking consequences.
To stop worrying about 'what'll everyone say'
To give new ideas a thought before saying 'no'.
To think about everyone and yet not to forget to live for yourself.
and above all
to be brave and strong and to accept, ... not just accept ... but to enjoy life no matter what cards are dealt to you.

Life wouldn't have been the same without you


PS: Yeah I got all emotional but it doesn't mean I'll relinquish the remote or let you switch on the fan at night... don't even think about it!

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